In her first
solo novel, Brenda Cooper has given us a rich world rift by nature, conflicting
philosophies, and the eternal disrupter: differences. Human nature, completely
unvarnished, is spotlighted in all its glory and ugliness, driving a story that
will keep you turning pages long into the night…once you get past the Prologue,
which did not hold my attention so well as the rest of the book.
Picture a remote
colony planet without much to recommend it, other than the fact that it is
remote. Two diametrically divergent groups have equally valid claims to the
planet, but rather than finding a way to co-exist in peace, their radical
differences cause nothing but strife, and ultimately war. Being the larger
group, the unalters, colonists living without scientific or medical
augmentation, overcome and devastate the alters, humans engineered for specific
tasks and to overcome the harsh world they were to inhabit. The alters are virtually
annihilated but for a handful that escaped the planet and seven children left
behind, or so everyone thought. One lone altered survived, Jenna, living on the
fringes, biding her time, waiting for the children to grow up.
The colony draws
the line at slaughtering children and incorporates them into their society,
dispersing them among different households and even different settlements,
against the day that they would grow into their altered abilities. For some of
the children, they were cherished and loved, others lived in torment, all of
them proved vital to the welfare of the colony, until the day that hatred and
fear on the part of a select few of the unaltereds forced the war orphans to
stand up for their rights and their freedom.
To tell more would be to tell the whole tale, so let me just say, I thoroughly
enjoyed this book. It was light on actual military presence, but not on the
discipline, strategy, and capabilities. The technology was fascinating without
overwhelming the storyline. I highly recommend this book, I give it an eight out of ten.
Score: 8 out of 10
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